While you’re over there down-dogging, and planking, and doing all the things on your hands, your wrists can end up taking quite a beating. Especially if you aren’t distributing your weight and being mindful of the pressure that you put on your wrists.
A few tips to help you in those poses where your arms are doing a lot of the weight bearing:
- Spread your fingers and press through each finger to spread the weight out evenly.
- Avoid pouring your weight into the heel of your hand.
- Imagine there is a suction cup in the palm of your hand that is pulling the middle part of your hand up as you press firmly through the rest of your hand.
Our wrists can be tricky, but if we don’t take care of them it can cause problems in other areas of your yoga practice, which is why it is important to listen to your body and take steps to strengthen and stretch them regularly.
- Plank on your knees – rather than coming into full plank, this is a great modification to help build strength in the wrists while making sure that you keep the integrity of the pose.
- Side plank (regular or on your knees) – If this is a tough one for your wrists you can take your hand a little bit out in front of your shoulder rather than keeping it directly under your shoulder
- Wrist curls – with your palm facing up, place a light weight in your hand and begin to curl your hand towards you, keeping your arm still. The movement should only be coming from your wrist. Once you’ve done a few of those, flip your hand (so your palm would be facing down) and do a few more curls.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The best thing you can do for your wrists is to make sure that you are consciously engaging your core in those weight bearing exercises. It will make a huge difference in weight distribution.
- Come to table top on your mat. Place your palms down, fingers facing towards you. Begin to rock back towards your heels. You should feel a stretch from your wrist to your forearm. Begin to gently lift the heels of your hands and peel your fingers off the mat. You can do this a few times. (You can also do this by extending one arm out and using the other hand to gently pull your fingers towards you, same with the exercise below).
- Next, still in table top, turn the palms of your hands up, finger tips still facing towards you. Bend your elbows out the side and then wrap your triceps in bring your elbows into the mid-line as you straighten your arms. Gently begin to lean your hips towards your heels again, stretching the front of your wrists.
- Take a seated position on your mat and bring your elbows into your sides. Extend your hands out in front of you, as if you were holding a platter. Keeping your hands flat and only moving your wrists, begin to bring your fingers in towards each other, and then move them away from each other. Next flip your hands over so the palms of your hands are facing down, hands are still parallel with the earth. Begin to bring your fingers in towards each other and move them away from each other.
- Ball your fists up, and begin to make circular motions with your wrists, being sure to take them in both directions.
Hopefully these can help keep your wrists healthy and happy so that you can enjoy a sustainable yoga practice for years to come!